Green lane warden scheme launched in Doncaster

The green lane warden scheme is designed to prevent antisocial behaviour and illegal motorcyclists on Doncaster’s many Green Lanes

Green lane warden scheme launched in Doncaster

GREEN Lane Wardens are being rolled out in Doncaster this week, in a move to help curtail anti-social behaviour and to prevent illegal motorcycles from ruining the green lane network for all.

South Yorkshire Police and Doncaster Council have launched a new trial scheme, which sees teams of so-called wardens patrolling the hundreds of miles of byways that crisscross the area.

The Green lane warden scheme sees officers from South Yorks Police’s Operational Support Unit, the local authority and the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) joining forces and is a first in the UK. The unit has been formed to combat concerns around the misuse of ‘Green Lanes’ and off road riding in the Doncaster area.

Roads Policing Sergeant Matt Duffy says it’s a positive move: “We have been aware of problems with motorcycles and quad bikes being ridden irresponsibly in parts of Doncaster for a while now and our off-road bike team have been working hard to tackle the issue. However, we know there is more that we need to do to get a grip on the problem and this new scheme is part of that.

“We have recruited ten community volunteers as wardens who will provide a high visibility presence in the areas where we have reports of ASB related to off-road bikes and quads. The wardens will be patrolling, advising people about rights of access and reporting incidents to the council and the police. They will, in essence, be the eyes and ears of the authorities, thereby increasing the chances of being reported when riding illegally.

“It’s as much about engagement and education as helping us with enforcement. The wardens will be talking to people about the TRF code of conduct and how to identify legal routes so all users of these areas can do so safely, legally and with respect and courtesy.”

The ‘Green Lane Warden Scheme’ aims to support local and national park authorities in reducing illegal and anti-social use of motorcycles on green roads, rights of way and other land not forming parts of a road, but it is not there to put off legitimate green lane users who abide by the law.

Inspector Craig Clifton from the force’s Operational Support Unit says: “It’s easy to underestimate the impact anti-social behaviour involving motorcycles has on the community, but as part of our action so far we haven’t just seized bikes, but also drugs and weapons. On top of this, you have the environmental impact for residents and businesses, including our local farmers.”

Doncaster Council’s Chris McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: "We have a zero-tolerance stance on all crime and anti-social behaviour.

"Residents can be confident the council and its partners are tackling problems like these in our communities.

"This operation sends a clear warning out to those involved that we will take action and seize motorbikes if people are causing a nuisance. This is another example of joint working at its very best."

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